How might my actions affect my baby during the 1st trimester of pregnancy?

Dr. Deborah Raines, MSN
Nursing Specialist


At four weeks the pregnancy is in a critical period of cellular replication and differentiation. The embryo and placenta are developing and establishing the pregnancy within the uterine sac. Therefore actions of the woman can have a significant impact on the establishment of the pregnancy and early phases of embryo development. Avoiding the ingestion of potentially hazardous substances such as alcohol, raw foods, drugs - including prescription and over the counter drugs and exposure to potential teratogens such as x-rays, radiation, high body temperature or toxic fumes are all important actions if a woman suspects she might be pregnant.

In general, you should focus on an overall healthy lifestyle. Avoid substances like alcohol and tobacco, since these may harm your developing baby. Restrict caffeine to no more than 200 mg, or one 12-oz cup of coffee per day. Certain medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, may affect your baby, so talk to your doctor about whether you should stop taking any medications. Your diet may also affect your baby, so eat a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Also, make sure you're getting the proper vitamins—especially calcium, iron, and folic acid—through your food and vitamin supplements. You should get plenty of exercise so that you and your baby stay healthy. If you have questions about how a particular activity may affect your baby during the 1st trimester, talk to your doctor.

Continue Learning about 1st Trimester Of Pregnancy

1st Trimester Of Pregnancy

The 1st trimester of pregnancy refers to the first three months after your last period. Different women react in different ways to pregnancy but there are a few things that you can expect while in the 1st trimester. Spotting is a ...

common occurrence but if bleeding becomes heavy, or is followed by pain or cramping, consult with your doctor. One of the first signs you may be pregnant is that your breasts become tender because your body is going through hormonal changes. Fatigues, morning sickness, and frequent urination are all products of the growing fetus and the hormonal changes that your body is going through. If you experience any of these symptoms in the extreme, visit your doctor to ensure that you are progressing normally.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.